Balancing the budget

By Grace Moore

Councilman Dick Claar and staff department heads Cory Allison, public works; Cheryl Schneider, clerk’s office; and Doug Lundborg, police attended a budget workshop Monday morning to see where they each stand on their current department budgets and determine adjustments for the 2017/2018 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

New vehicles
Capital expenditures for each department were discussed, particularly the police department’s need of a new patrol vehicle. The 2011 Impala has taken $5000 in repairs in this fiscal year from a $7500 maintenance budget, according to Lundborg.
“If we could have gotten it last year, here’s $5000 we we’ve spent on that one vehicle,” he said.
While Allison wants to rotate out another of the public works pickups, he expressed his willingness to acquiesce to Lundborg.
“I think I’ll wait this year and you can get a squad car; that way, we’re not taking out two vehicles in one year,” he said.
Schneider espoused a more realistic funding for vehicle replacement than what the town has been doing, saying “$500 every budget year isn’t going to buy a decent vehicle unless you’re going to work 25 years.”
She further suggested a rotation, agreeing with Allison’s earlier point. “The next fiscal year that we can afford it should be public works that gets a vehicle or vice versa. It should be the police department because theirs is more worn out so they should be getting one first.”
“We need to take every vehicle replacement expenditure in this budget and transfer it over. So if there’s $4000 worth of vehicle replacements between the police department and maintenance, we need to transfer that over,” Claar opined.
The town’s surplus of vehicles includes an ambulance, Suburban, police car and a Trail Blazer, Schneider brought this potential revenue to the body’s attention, “We have some vehicles sitting there [that] we need to get sold. The money we get from that could buy one town